Louis Vuitton released an entire line of products Monday, the LVxLoL: The Collection, as part of its collaboration with Riot Games and the League of Legends brand.
The new products were released on the heels of Louis Vuitton's collaboration with Riot at the League of Legends World Championship, which included the release of League of Legends' latest fictional band, True Damage. At the time, Louis Vuitton and Riot showed off a True Damage Prestige Edition LV skin for Qiyana, a dynamic carrying case for the Summoner's Cup and a planned True Damage Prestige Edition LV skin for Senna in 2020.
Now, the brands are coming together with high-end fashion for the real world, including leather jackets, shoes, workout outfits, handbags and nearly 50 items.
Combining luxury fashion directly with League of Legends may seem a bit odd, to put it mildly, but expensive streetwear, particularly sneakers, often go hand-in-hand with being at the top of the esports food chain. (See: Invictus Gaming jungler Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning sporting Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers on the world finals stage, or New York Excelsior support Bang "Jjonak" Sung-hyeon's memetic love of Balenciagas). LoL Pro League teams have their own clothing lines, primarily of streetwear staples, which are released periodically during the year: EDward Gaming's line is likely the most famous because the team has a clothing line based on its brand but also one based around the team dog, Nice.
And people wonder why I love the LPL.
Louis Vuitton was, initially, known for high-quality stacking luggage. The LV classic pattern featuring "LV" overlapping initials, flowers and quatrefoils. This evolved into the company's classic monogram pattern for luggage and handbags, which has been combined with a number of artists in the past. The handbags ubiquitously hanging from bent elbows of discerning (see: wealthy) students at my college were from the Takashi Murakami LV collaboration -- Murakami is an artist known for the postmodern art term and movement of "superflat," as well as the 1998 sculpture "My Lonesome Cowboy" (look it up, you won't be disappointed) -- that started in 2002.
This is how I, and most people around my age, grew familiar with Louis Vuitton: staring in envy at wealthier peers who could afford it. Louis Vuitton has done a variety of interesting collaborations with artists over the years, and this isn't even their first foray into the gaming world. That occurred all the way back in 2016, when Final Fantasy XIII's Lightning became the "virtual heroine" of the fashion brand's spring-summer advertising campaign.
"Lightning is the perfect avatar for a global, heroic woman and for a world where social networks and communications are now seamlessly woven into our life," Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of Louis Vuitton's women's collections, said in the official press release. "She is also the symbol of new pictorial processes. How can you create an image that goes beyond the classic principles of photography and design? Lightning heralds a new era of expression."
Ghesquière is not-so-coincidentally also the designer behind Qiyana's LV skin.
While I personally may not be able to afford anything in the LVxLoL collection, that won't stop me from having hot takes with an admitted dash of jealousy. I've wanted to write an esports fashion column for a while -- my coworkers are sick of me posting EDG Nice clothing line links in our Slack chat (Editors note: We are not.) -- so thank you, Louis Vuitton and League of Legends, for giving me the perfect excuse.
Without further adieu, here are some of the highs and lows of LVxLoL.
LVxLoL -- Look 1
True Damage Qiyana: Prestige Edition was the harbinger of this live clothing line, and it's no coincidence that the first look on the LVxLoL page, and the vast majority of the collection, looks like something that Qiyana would wear, were she an actual human. The combination of the Short Sleeve Crop Top ($1,070), Leggings ($1,140), Bumbag Dauphine BB ($2,400), and Star Trail Ankle Boot ($1,330) is basically a True Damage Qiyana outfit.
Qiyana's ring motif also appears as the collection's unifying design, which has been added to accents like zippers and keychains. The splashes of blue/white/black or gold/white/grey/black across the signature LV monogram pattern are presumably nods to color schemes featured in the True Damage music video, although they create an unfortunate but probably intended camouflage side effect.
LVxLoL Monogram BB Bandeau: $150
An important part of having any fashion line is ensuring there's at least one thing that most people can actually afford so those customers can feel like they're a part of the brand without having to break the bank.
The question isn't whether this is actually worth $150 in materials, construction, etc., but whether that's an acceptable buy-in price to the Louis Vuitton brand. For many people, it will be, and a bandeau is something that can easily be styled in multiple ways because it's an accessory. It also features the Qiyana ring motif that's a signature of this collection.
LVxLoL Leather Bike Jacket: $5,650
We move from the least expensive item in the bandeau to the most expensive item: a silver lambskin leather jacket. Aside from my personal opinion that this is the ugliest piece in the collection, I also think it's the piece that doesn't exactly fit in with the rest of the streetwear in LVxLoL. A $4,540 parka with the tiger-stripe splash design? Yeah, at least that coordinates with the pattern and the streetwear aesthetic. This leather jacket feels a bit as if Louis Vuitton felt like they had to include one.
From a purely functional perspective: Perhaps the silver foil look also acts as a reflector at night to avoid accidents on the road?
LVxLoL Cycling Shorts: $940
In case you hadn't heard, bike shorts are "in" right now and can be found not only at gyms or, heaven forbid, on people actively riding a bicycle, but also in tandem with suit jackets or silk tops -- "Business on top, party on the bottom" as it were. It's no surprise to see a pair here (as well as the LVxLoL leggings).
Could you actually cycle in them? I feel uniquely qualified to comment on this, as I bicycle to places frequently and even rode the 17 or so miles from my apartment in Venice, California, to Blizzard Entertainment's Blizzard Arena once. The zipped pocket on the back is smart. More pockets are almost always a good thing, in my humble opinion. The gold zipper tag on the front ties it back into the LVxLoL collection with Qiyana's ring motif, but it would definitely obnoxiously tap on your leg while actually cycling.
LVxLoL Bubble Skirt: $2,680
Why did bubble skirts ever go out of fashion in the first place? BRING THE BUBBLE SKIRT BACK. I love this and would wear it were it not significantly out of my price range. As a related aside, it's actually fairly simple to turn an old skirt that you rarely wear into a bubble skirt, fabric pending, and there are a variety of YouTube videos that will teach you how.